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How a Willamette Law Alumnus went from serving coffee to becoming Dutch Bros. General Counsel

From slinging beverages at a stand to delivering legal suggestions and support, Josh Lute JD’07 certainly is aware of the ins and outs of Dutch Bros. Espresso. 

As a superior schooler in Grants Move, Ore., Lute acquired a job at what was then the neighborhood coffee store — a smaller chain with 3 spots and superior vibes — Dutch Bros. He eventually moved to the Willamette Valley to show up at Oregon Point out University for speech conversation, and a professor there encouraged him to search into law faculty.

Following doing work as a paralegal for a few of yrs, he built the leap and utilized to Willamette Legislation. He discovered litigation and took an superior trial program that he relished, as effectively as business enterprise regulation courses. With a rising spouse and children of ultimately 5 young young children at household, he dealt with law university as his occupation but created it a stage to remain connected to his friends.

Josh Lute
Josh Lute JD’07

Lute and his relatives ended up a component of an on-campus group termed Law Partners, which held events for learners with people. He jokes that his amount a single extracurricular action was investing time with his loved ones, however he did find time for other student teams and functions. For the duration of his 2L yr, he served as secretary for the Student Bar Affiliation, and as a 3L, was vice president of the class.

“I really relished regulation school,” Lute suggests. “I observed anything I was good at and appreciated. I appreciated studying about new regions of legislation, and I had definitely great professors, who tried using to train how to be a superior attorney and not just how to move the bar.”

Lute also concluded two clerkships, 1 for the Exclusive Litigation Device of the Oregon Section of Justice and one particular as a summer time associate for Perkins Coie. To give himself a split even though studying for the bar, he applied for a weekend barista job at Dutch Bros. When the organization held a celebration for the opening of its 100th stand, he attended and reconnected with the founders. He stated he was arranging to be a law firm in Portland.

5 yrs afterwards, immediately after clerking for federal magistrate Decide Janice Stewart of the U.S. District Courtroom and doing the job at Perkins Coie, Dutch Bros. known as, searching for a basic counsel.

“I stated I wasn’t sure if I was the right particular person, and then I didn’t hear again for months and months,” Lute states. “The adhering to year, they commenced calling me once more and questioned to interview me in early 2012. After the interview, they made me an supply. It was pretty unforeseen, but it was an incredible prospect.”

Lute remaining his job at Perkins Coie and moved back to Grants Move. His get the job done now is pretty distinctive from his time at the firm, where he focused on the extra constrained area of employment law. As a common counsel, there are selected locations of regulation that come up extra commonly than some others, but he doesn’t automatically focus in just one. When he requirements enable, he reaches out to his community of connections. He compares his occupation to regularly overhauling a car’s engine though however driving down the street.

“The company even now has to run and make cash, and you are element of the discussion, assisting the firm do what they do,” he says. “It’s vital to be a strategic partner as opposed to a transactional husband or wife. When you’re brought in at the method stage, you get legal thoughts concerned in the early levels of scheduling. I definitely get pleasure from that and assisting the organization succeed.

At Dutch Bros., each individual leader works to protect the culture, which is an absolute distinguishing component. Our products is appreciate, and coffee is the medium. How we ‘keep it Dutch’ is important to who we are.”

On September 15, 2021, Dutch Brothers became a publicly traded enterprise. According to The Oregonian, the IPO was the greatest in condition heritage and made the coffee enterprise Oregon’s fifth-most-beneficial organization.